Tuesday, 20 June 2023
EU Deforestation Regulation and US Forests
Update to the original article
Effective June 29, 2023, the European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) prohibits the import of wood products in the EU from deforestation or forest degradation. To comply, suppliers will need to conduct due diligence to demonstrate their products are deforestation free. Yet the level of diligence will depend on whether a country is considered low-risk or high-risk for deforestation.
So, a natural question arises: Will the United States be designated as a low risk for deforestation and forest degradation?
Because enforcement of the EUDR does not take effect until December 30, 2024, it is not yet clear how risks will be assigned to countries, although the European Commission promises an “objective and transparent assessment.”
Risk classification will be based on the following criteria:
- Rate of deforestation and forest degradation
- Rate of expansion of agricultural land for relevant commodities
- Production trends of relevant commodities and products
- Whether the country takes effective enforcement measures
- Whether the country shares data transparently
For companies selling products into the EU, now is the time to dig into supply chains to develop approaches and credible sources for verifying and providing assurance that products from the US are designated as low risk under the EUDR guidelines.
While it is yet to be determined if and how certification will play into EUDR, FSC certificate holders are in a good position to assure their products are deforestation-free through their commitment to the FSC Principles and Criteria.